A good place for creative license

The plot-line of a long-running “vintage” TV and film series that I decided to indulge in on DVD lately (I won’t say which one for fear of distracting from the topic of this post…I’m not here to talk about TV programmes) drove me absolutely nuts with its creative license over historical events and timespans. Over the course of nine series and four additional movies, the characters’ lives spanned five decades tracking linear events yet, by the end, their concluding ages really didn’t add up and many other landmark “historic” dates were played with so free-and-easily that it nearly drove me out of my mind with overthinking it all, trying to reconcile the narrative with logic. If this had been “The Time Traveler’s Wife”, “Cloud Atlas” or some such, I would have been signed up for non-linear playfulness but it wasn’t (a bit like most people today don’t realise they are signed up for anything but strictly sequential logic; and I used to be one of them so I know how hard that can be). So this sudden amorphismin, in an unexpected (and what I thought was “familiar”) place, got to me, being wholly unexpected. After long rumination, I was forced to surrender to the obvious fact that the script-writers hadn’t made a mistake…they had just got majorly creative in the name of tying off all the ends, thus I have to accept that and move on.

This flagged up a major sticking point that I have when it comes to “lack of logic”. For a creative-type, I am also a deeply logical person, born of a logic-driven family, and my strict adherence to this can be a real stumbling block at times, even though I don’t always see it any more (preferring to regard myself as far more open-minded than that…). Ironic, since my lower chakras seem to have much less struggle with playing free-and-easy with structures. When it comes to my body, hypermobility issues that affect my physical integrity and nervous system to a pretty high degree (almost rendering me non-viable as a physical form on my worse days!) all denote a sorry lack of logical structure and far too much flux. I can’t help wondering if this apparently over-compensatory trait (a body that seems to make up for an occasionally rigid mind in ways that are self-evident in my physical foibles) is a factor to the known link between autism (often referred to as a “left-brained” dominance) and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome…

But I digress, what I notice is how, when it comes to my head, it’s like mixing oil or water to try and mingle logic with a creative license for “facts”. Or, like dangling an electric wire in the bathtub…sparks seem to fly around my energy system, as-in, my nervous system prickles and burns-out whenever logic seems to have vacated the building. This tripping point lingers in the shadows of my near-constant sense of fatigue and overwhelm; nothing in the world seems to add up anymore, at least in three-dimensional reality, and this seems to crash my physical system pretty regularly these days…perhaps everybody’s system.

Yet I also realise, as an artist and spiritual venturer, that its in the creative license that we get to jump timelines or meld them together, altering realities, flipping outcomes. In terms of recovery from otherwise unshiftable health issues, I can point you at the work of Dr Joe Dispenza (who plays, most successfully, with quantum healing) for countless anecdotes in support of this “truth”. So many of my own breakthroughs, in life and on the canvas, have been born out of letting go of structure or logic, for just long enough…

How bad is it really that the script-writers of a beloved series played so free-and-easy with timespans in the end, after their steady start in the early years (it was a very long running program). I suspect it was done “for art’s sake”, to wrap things up in the best possible way for all the characters and to make a point about life and its interactions with some key events in “history” so why is that so bad? Why does my mind wrestle and squirm so? Isn’t the very fact of allowing time-lines to soften “that thing” at the very core of creativity? Aren’t fixed timelines the very things that keep us stuck in the same old ruts? How deeply must I have been conditioned by our culture, to resist this degree of bending the rules, if I react this way…to a storyline?

That word “creativity” relies on a softening of linearity. Its where we get to fuse one unlikely but hopeful reality to another that isnt looking so good. How we get to abruptly, perhaps dramatically (with fanfare), or even subtly yet decisively (“I didn’t see it at the time but it all began to shift on that day…”; here’s hoping COP26 is such a “day”!!) change trajectories though this was looking as likely as snow in hell just a moment ago.

It’s the ending of all of our favourite movies, and where miracles occur. What I call an “Anita Moorjani” moment, where a body riddled with cancer is inexplicably healed in a day (read her autobiography “Dying To Be Me” if you haven’t already…I promise, you will never forget it).

Paradoxically, my physical problems have been where my body gets too free-and-easy with actual structures of body tissue (structural laxity and hypermobility), to the detriment of my ability to bear weight or move around at times. I need my bones and ligaments to do what they signed up to do and this has been my year-on-year increasing challenge.

Lately, I had a breakthrough realising that maybe meeting soft with soft wasn’t such a good idea, so I began sleeping on a sheet of hardboard over my mattress, with just a 2 inch foam topper to soften the blow. Since that time, I’ve enjoyed remarkable improvements in my ability to just hop out of bed and walk normally to the bathroom, with no need to reconfigure my body back into its functional integrity when I first wake (or for hours afterwards…). Capitalising on this, I’ve likewise replaced soft toppers with firm support under sofa cushions in daytime seating and made sure I move around and vary posture much more, standing to do tasks when I can. As a result, I’ve enjoyed better daytime mobility, even redecorated portions of my house and done things I had put aside for years, and thought I perhaps might never get to do again, all because I kind-of insisted to my body structures that they be more structure-like, by showing them how to do this, during my rest-and-respite times in the night. Walking has improved, digestion (apart from when triggered by wrong ingredients, as written about recently) has improved, pain levels are work-in progress but I’m quietly optimistic (Rome wasn’t built in a day). Once my joints were no longer sagging in whatever free-for-all way they used to do in my ageing memory foam bed when I slept, they began to reconfigure and I am much stronger, more mobile and upright as a result, leading to a subtle yet quietly evident systemic shift from the inside.

So, like a plaster-cast on a broken leg, these methods are reminding my body how to be a three-dimensional structure because, contrary to some trains of spiritual thinking, we do still need those, even as (or especially because) we’re starting to explore other dimensions more and more. And because our world is beginning to reboot…we still need to anchor, with one foot planted firmly in physical reality, as this shifts occur.

The thing is, when I get up from my bed, yes a little sore most days (that part isn’t going to disappear overnight) I also know that movement and fluidity…yoga, dance, mediation, presence, music, writing down whatever comes to me, time spent doing/thinking nothing at all or being in flow…are the balancers. In fact, years of my body forcing me to make this relationship between structure/non-structure (masculine/feminine) so very present, visible and conscious, in need of negotiation where others seem to take it for granted, has been the gift of my life. Because I have become, in effect, the marriage counsellor between yin and yang in my own body and, thankfully, signs are that they are starting to really talk to each other, or just be with each other without provocation, at last. This is great news in terms of better physical health.

Yet I also suspect that, whilst establishing a better, more comfortable, arrangement between my physicality and all that it contains is a way forwards, it might not allow me to actually heal (as in shift) all those distorted realities, across many dimensions, that led to my chronic health situation (as I suspect applies to the state of our world). For that to occur, I need a minor miracle, and that aspect really does take playing much more free-and-easy with my internal plot lines. I need to be able to sculpt my own “ending” without adherence to precedent or other people’s expectations of what is, or isn’t, logically possible. I need to step outside of rock-solid linear progression and get creative (as in, having an Anita Moorjani moment, many times over). This is the crux of how we all heal, truth be known and, with the hard-fast (often dogmatic) beliefs of western medicine pushed aside for the moment, this is a truth that needs airing now, whether we are talking about an individual’s health or that of the entire planet. At its most basic, there has to be a will to heal, and a faith that it is possible, before any medicine will deliver its healing effect and that part is the unfathomable ingredient; the yin to the yang.

For that, I need far more than just a comfortable cease-fire between the physicality of my body and my desire to lead a more fulfilling life. I need them to merge, to get down and messy with each other, to mingle in the quantum goo between cells, to create way beyond what logic would dictate.

So yes there’s a level of healing where a more balanced status quo is a good resolution, or at least an interim one, but the real magic of healing starts when this balance-point holds space (as a vice might hold a piece of wood before the artist begins to carve…a mixture of craftsmanship and inspiration) in order for a shift, or a kind of orgasm, to occur.

Because that word, which still makes some people squirm uneasily, really denotes a moment of complete and utter creative license, you could even say surrender to the flow. It’s when our diligent adherence to logic is finally submerged beneath the higher aspiration to create best outcome; rearranging the jumbled pecking-order (cart before the horse…) that has dominated and distorted our world for way too long. Logic is useful, yes, but it does not make the day. Sometimes, it blocks the view of what is possible, or keeps us feeling small and helpless, locked into a fixed narrative, slaves to linearity and proof.

Here in a word that merely aludes to excitement (the creative ju-ju of the universe) combined with projection, a quantum leap, is a taste of cosmic creative-license, as in, where a taste of original universal creation gets to come in to form, to be sampled by mortal beings, wielded by them as portions of godliness, from which point “events” could literally go off in any direction, because timelines have come together as one; a hyper-junction in the road of life. Its a case of sparking the imagination towards potentials you would love to become actuality (which your logical mind might otherwise block as “ridiculous” yet setting out in that direction anyway). Not demanding that any particular outcome occurs, nor expecting it, not looking to the “laws” of science to uphold such an outcome but allowing that spark to take shape in surprising, gasp-making, gear-changing, thrilling ways.

This is what every true artist or musician does when they lift their brush or sit at the piano, not knowing what is about to come but just letting what wants to arise to do so, in no particular format or order of events (we might tidy it up a little later, but this is where the original spark comes in). Creative license at its best looks (and feels) like this, and makes us so happy when we receive the lovely picture, the music to our ears, the cohesive ending to the fictional story, and yet its time for us to stop compartmentalising it to “the arts” or to “fiction” in order to bring it into real life, into COP26, into mainstream health modalities, into everything!

There is still (more than) a place for structures and linearity in this world…it wouldn’t stand up or function either, without its “ligaments” and “bones” to mobilise, feed and protect crucial “organs” (though, over time, those structures also get to evolve; nothing is ever fixed). Sudden, drastic, changes to structure lead to equally sudden collapse, pain and internal dysfunction, as I know all too well from experience. Yes, I also know, creative license in all the wrong places is not a healthy, nor sustainable, thing; the same applies to creative license when it comes to reporting “the news” or how politicians or corporates spin “the truth”. There are appropriate places for structure or for flux and, as we mature (and hopefully evolve), we have to do our very best to get that balance right, at both the personal and collective levels.

However, with our outlines in place, we all get to be so much more free-and-easy with the internal plot-lines than we are often led to believe is permissible. Structures aren’t the whole story, as we have been led to believe for countless centuries now, but they are fifty percent of the deal of creating that most appropriate of holding spaces. Then, holding space for the merger of left and right hemispheres to take place, through balance, isn’t the shift itself but is the beginning of where real, creative, shift “potentiates”, allowing-in just the right degree of creative license to rewrite all our plot lines towards a more collectively satisfying conclusion (of this particular chapter) in the long running saga of life.

(For anyone who has to know, I allude above to “The Waltons”, beloved series of my childhood and, actually, surprisingly rich, rewarding and wisdom-packed, thus far more nutitrious than most contemporary TV offerings, on the revisit.)

About Helen White

Helen White is a professional artist and published writer with two primary blogs to her name. Her themes pivot around health and wellbeing, expanded consciousness and ways of noticing how life is a constant dance between the deeply subjective and the collective-universal, all of which she explores with a daily hunger to get to know herself better. Her blog Living Whole shines a light on living with high sensitivity, dealing with trauma and healing from chronic health issues. Spinning the Light is an extremely broad-based platform where she elucidates the everyday alchemy of relentless self-exploration. A lifetime of "feeling like an outsider" slowly emerged as neurodivergence (being a Highly Sensitive Person with ADHD, synaesthesia, sensory processing challenges and other defecits overlapping with giftedness). All of these topics are covered in her blogs, written from two distinct vantage points so, if you have enjoyed one of them, you may wish to explore the other for a different, yet entirely complimentary, perspective.
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